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‘The greatest sacrifice’: Southern Nevadans remember fallen on Memorial Day

Updated May 30, 2022 - 4:00 pm

Ed Hall holds the significance of Memorial Day close to his heart.

The 98-year-old Pearl Harbor survivor lost three close friends, and saw many others seriously wounded, in the surprise Japanese attack on Dec. 7, 1941.

Hall spent some of that infamous day helping transport wounded Americans to the hospital and saw the USS Arizona explode.

The sinking of the Arizona alone killed 1,177.

“It was a horrible day for all of us,” he said.

On Monday, he gathered with about 100 other veterans, Las Vegas residents and community leaders at Lake Sahara South Park in The Lakes for a ceremony to honor the fallen military members.

“We remember those who have passed away in the defense of this country,” Hall said. “Absolutely the greatest sacrifice anyone could ever make.”

Nevadans came together across the Silver State on Monday to pay tribute to American service members who gave their lives for the nation.

Events at cemeteries

Gov. Steve Sisolak joined a Memorial Day ceremony at the Southern Nevada Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Boulder City. A ceremony also was planned at the Northern Nevada Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Fernley. A tribute was held at Woodlawn Cemetery in Las Vegas with flags placed on grave markers for veterans buried there.

Sisolak told hundreds at the Boulder City event that the sacrifices Nevadans have made in combat would never be forgotten.

“The passage of time will never dull nor diminish the service, courage and bravery of Nevadans who put on a military uniform for a cause greater than themselves,” Sisolak said. “Greater than us: the idea of liberty.”

More than a dozen veterans from the Purple Heart Chapter 730 were in attendance, including Marine veteran Mark Curley, who was wounded in 1966 while serving in Vietnam.

“People don’t understand what people have given for our country,” Curley said. “We wouldn’t have what we have if it wasn’t for the veterans.”

The ceremony at The Lakes, organized by the American Legion Nevada Post 76 and Nevada Post 14, drew nearly 200 people including several members of the Gold Start Wives of America.

Olive Bouault, wife of the late Army Lt. Col. Louis Lincoln Bouault, and Ada McArthur, whose husband, Howard Gifford, died in Vietnam, both attended the service.

McArthur said she was thankful for the Memorial Day ceremonies. When she lost her husband, she said, the sacrifices made by soldiers weren’t always fully appreciated.

“Seeing the way the United States has come to recognize and honor the military fallen is very heartwarming for me,” McArthur said.

Friends who never came back

Army Veteran Candido Elejalde, who served in Desert Storm, Iraq and Panama, attended the ceremony to remember his late fellow service members.

“Very special meaning to me,” Elejalde said. “I have some friends. They never came back.”

The event featured a Wreath of Remembrance and flag-folding ceremonies, along with remarks from Pranava Moody, commander of Post 76.

Tony Mascari, past commander of Post 76, said organizers were very pleased with the turnout.

“We are absolutely encouraged to see this kind of support,” Mascari said. “It keeps getting bigger and better every year. Very solemn indeed. Holidays like this are important so we can remember those who have come before us.”

Contact Glenn Puit by email at gpuit@reviewjournal.com. Follow @GlennatRJ on Twitter.

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